David Keyser’s Daily Driven OBS Ford F-250

When you first see David Keyser’s white 1997 Ford F-250, it looks exactly like how you may have imagined it if someone were to describe it to you—a white 1997 Ford 250. Of course, the truck has been given a few custom visual treatments, and the wheels, tires and suspension work are all glaring changes but for the most part, the body, paint and interior are all still in bone stock condition. These were things that David wasn’t interested in changing up all too much anyway. These OBS F-Series pickups are cool-as-hell to boot and are now officially ‘classics’, so leaving them in largely as-is condition will fetch zero complaints from us. What David was hoping to improve upon, however, was his truck’s power output. He was all consumed by the thought of beefing this thing up way past factory specs.

“I originally picked the truck up from the original owner in Florida in November of 2012,” David tells us. “It was a completely stock 2WD truck with 126k miles, and my plans for it weren’t all that grand. That all changed though after my dad took me to my first Rudy’s diesel event at Piedmont Dragway in Julian, North Carolina. I was instantly hooked on diesel performance from that day forward.”

With a newfound goal in mind, David started working harder and scraping up extra funds to spend on performance parts. Since he was a much younger man at this point (he is currently only in his mid 20s now), David’s budget for big purchases was limited. That’s not to say that he didn’t drop some decent money into the bucket back in the early days with his F-250.

“I started off with a TS Chip, a S&B intake and a 4-inch MBRP exhaust, and I drove the truck around with only these mods for about 70k miles going back and forth to college and work,” he admits. “In 2018, I finally threw in some Rosewood injectors, a T500 HPOP, a mild build transmission that I assembled myself, along with some custom tunes on a PHP Hydra from JeliBuilt Performance.”

While all these additions sound like they would be enough to keep David satisfied, all the power gains did leave him wanting even more.

David owns up to and is fine with his insatiable appetite for heightened performance. “I’ve always been the person who wants to perfect everything, which normally creates a lot more work for myself. Overall, I was hoping to build the ultimate 7.3L F-250 that I could drive daily and drag whenever I wanted to.” Unfortunately, this led to him jumping on a deal of a lifetime (or so he thought) when a unique opportunity presented itself.

“I picked up a bunch of used parts from a good buddy Joey who had an injector tip break off, which messed up his motor. Well, I bought some parts from that engine and installed a set of 275/200 Full Force Diesel injectors, Irate Diesel T4 S369 turbo kit and fuel system, 6.0 intercooler and a Colt Cams stage 2 cam. It was a lot of good parts that I really wanted, but 8 minutes into the first drive, after installing everything, a connecting rod bent. That ended up costing way more time and money than I had planned on spending. I did reach the point of deciding if my goal still made sense, and I was so unsure of which direction take next.”

After some brief deliberation, David knew that throttling back his truck’s engine output just wasn’t an option. Sure, gaining some reliability would be nice, but in the long run, giving up on going big would officially go down as being a major fail in his eyes. Instead of going backwards, David leaned into rebuilding his engine to handle the level of performance he really wanted.

“I’ve been through lots of setups since I first built the engine in 2019, but my current configuration has been great so far. I have an awesome lineup of so many great products like the 455/400 from Unlimited Diesel, the Forced Inductions turbocharger, some killer machine work from Crutchfield Machine and so much more but it’s the custom E4od from A1 Transmission that is one of my favorite pieces on the truck.”

While the best place to get a glimpse of the performance parts that are currently featured on David’s rig, it’s easier to consult the spec box as that was a wildly abbreviated rundown of the truck’s arsenal, there was still one more item on his list he wanted to check off the list once the work under the hood was wrapped up.

“The truck was originally a 2WD, and since I had some extra time in 2020 during the pandemic lockdown, I swapped it over to 4×4 using 2006 F350 SRW axles and a Sky’s Off-Road Design ‘05+ SD axle swap bracket kit to make it happen”, David says proudly. While he was daily driving this truck the majority of time since he first purchased it, he picked up a new service truck earlier this year, so the 7.3 is not currently being driven on an everyday basis. “Some of my best accomplishments with the truck include my personal best of 7.11 at 99.8 with it in the 1/8, and the truck weights 6,405 pounds with myself in it. We have sled pulled it in the past to a 2nd place finish, and have won local hard tire classes and placed several semifinals in 7.70 or ET classes. I do miss driving this truck every single day but I still plan to race it at local events and hopefully dip into the 6’s one day.”

1997 Ford F250

OWNER: David Keyser



  • Assembly by Owner, Machining by Crutchfield Machine,
    Siler City, NC
  • 1997 International 7.3L 8-cylinder
  • 797 hp @3,050 RPM, 1464-lbs-ft torque @ 3,050 RPM
  • 444 displacement
  • OEM crankshaft
  • Manley Pro Series I-beam billet rods
  • Factory pistons, .030 valve relief
  • DieselSite high volume LPOP oil pump
  • OEM oil pan w/ Morris Motorsports welded in dipstick
  • Colt Cams Stage 2 billet cam
  • Duration: INT-192 EXH-200
  • Lift: INT-430 EXH-433
  • Factory style water pump and metal cooling fan
  • Mishimoto radiator
  • Crutchfield Machine mild CNC ported heads
  • Smith Brothers pushrods
  • Power Stroke Products springs
  • Eco Diesel cryo-treated rockers


  • Irate Diesel intake w/ 3-inch plates and comp kit
  • CSF 6.0 intercooler
  • Forced Inductions 476/87/1.0 turbocharger (57 PSI boost)
  • CSF 6.0 intercooler
  • Turbo Smart 45mm wastegate
  • Swamps Diesel Gen 3 billet housing over stock 15-degree
  • -10An Feed and -8An return fuel lines
  • Unlimited Diesel Stage 5 injectors 455/400’s
  • Nitrous Express single .076 jet (roughly 100hp boost)


  • PHP hydra programmer tuned by JeliBuilt Performance
  • Nitrous Express Max5 and PCS 2800 E4od controller


  • OEM exhaust manifolds, Irate Diesel T4 up-pipes
  • 3-inch hood stack and 1.75-inch hood stack wastegate


  • Trans mods by Chris Garrett, Royston, GA
  • 1997 Ford E40d transmission
  • Goerend triple disc extreme clutch and converter (2200 stall speed)
  • Custom A1 Transmission valve body and shift kit
  • Factory OBS shifter and OEM size shafts and joints
  • Borgwarner BW4407 transfer case


  • Stock Ford 2WD frame
  • 4×4 swapped
  • Sky’s Off-Road Design ’05+ axle swap kit
  • Punch Out Performance adjustable 4-link
  • PMF drag link, dual steering stabilizer kit, adjustable track bar
  • Flight Fab ladder bar style traction bars
  • 18-gallon rear fuel tank (front tank deleted)
  • (2) Interstate MTP-65HD battery
  • Beans Diesel sump and rear tank modified for sump


  • ‘06 F350 SRW 3.73 axle
  • Factory 2WD OBS springs
  • QA1 DD901 shocks
  • Factory 200 brakes
  • Yukon Grizzly locker
  • Sky’s Off-Road Design ‘05+ swap rear brake line


  • ’06 F350 SRW 3.73 axle
  • Fox Racing stock height F350 shocks
  • Factory ’06 springs and brakes


  • 18×12 Weld Racing Cheyenne wheels


  • 325/45R18 Hoosier DR2 tires


  • 1997 Ford SuperCab body
  • CP Addicts clear headlights, smoked taillights
  • TruXedo tonneau cover


  • ISSPRO EV gauges
  • Pioneer head unit
  • Memphis Audio M Series speakers


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